oughtism (47)

This time, I will not put myself
through the paces of disappointment.

Here, the sky turns pink,
a rosy, sleepy lavender
and makes the red dirt seem
to glow.

I think of you, and the dirt
beneath your feet, how it reaches
up to claim you.

You don’t have to be good.
You only have to come and walk
with me through the late day,
our shoes pushing the brown leaves aside,
our voices low in the gathering dusk.

12.6.17

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reflections on conferences

When I found out that I would be attending two scientific conferences back-to-back in D.C., I have to admit that I wasn’t initially excited. At the smaller conference, ISDP, I would be presenting a poster, which was essentially a sad story about how my rotation project didn’t work out. The second conference, Society for Neuroscience, I knew would be huge, exhausting, and potentially extremely overwhelming. It honestly seemed kind of unappealing.

Now, waiting in the Washington airport for a flight home, I can confirm: yes, it was exhausting, enormous, and overwhelming. But it was also just what I needed.

There were 30,000 people at the Society for Neuroscience conference this year. We filled the entirety of the Walter E Washington convention center with posters, talks, nanosymposia, and exhibitors. At the smaller conference, I had the opportunity to meet and converse with developmental scientists from all over the world. I met and bonded with former lab members. My poster presentation went very well– much better than I expected.

These conferences gave me two things I had been lacking recently: inspiration and confidence. I walked away with so many ideas, so much new knowledge. And, for the first time, I actually felt like a competent scientist.

I’m actually excited to get back to the lab.